Monday, June 9, 2014

World Tea Expo: Tea for Social Good

One thing that I was really glad to see this year was a lot of companies who are using tea for social good. As tea drinkers, especially in a wealthier country like the U.S., I think we have an obligation to help those who produce the leaves we love so much.

Tealet's massive booth featured videos and pictures from their recent Amazing Tea Race. Their goal is to create a bridge between tea growers and tea drinkers, enabling them to make three times more income than they do with the traditional distribution system.


Nepali Tea Traders sources their teas from a co-op that produces high quality loose leaf tea rather than the usual tea bag style CTC. Their profits are reinvesting in the community through the Nepal Youth Foundation.


Satemwa Tea Estates came all of the way from Malawi. Their teas were excellent and I was excited to hear about how well their treat their workers. All of their teas are Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance and UTZ Cerified. They also hold an Ethical Tea Partnership Certificate. I found their Antlers white tea was particularly interesting.
JustTea works to establish small co-operatives in Kenya, enabling tea farmers to hand process high quality tea themselves instead of being forced to sell the raw leaf to factories for low prices. I wasn't able to catch him during the show but they even brought one of their farmers all of the way to Long Beach so that he can tell his story.

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